New Innovations for Storm-Resistant Homes

Today, homes and office buildings look pretty much the same as in years gone by. But aesthetics aside, some of the newer storm-resistant construction techniques that are finding their way into new construction projects take weatherproofing to a whole new level.  For example, the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) works with standards to protect roofs from high-wind events.

PATH recommends the following considerations for roof construction in order to resist high-velocity wind events, no matter what their source.

  1. A home with a hip roof is less vulnerable than a gable roof home. Very low-sloped roofs increase uplift; steeply sloped roofs create lateral wind loads. The ideal slope is moderately pitched below 6/12 and greater than 4/12.
  2. For roof sheathing installation, consider 8d nails spaced at no more than 6 inches on center. Ring shank nails improve wind resistance for a small cost. Sheathing should be a minimum thickness of 19/32 inch for added strength.
  3. Use baffled ridge and soffit vents to minimize the number of roof penetrations that are vulnerable in high winds. Baffled vents slow airflow and prevent wind-driven rain from entering the attic through the ridge vent.
  4. Wrap hurricane straps over the top of the roof truss or rafter. Strap each part of the wall assembly together or anchor it from the foundation to the roof to provide a continuous load path and to connect the roof to the foundation for stability.
  5. A low-profile house is inherently less vulnerable, so a one-story home is less likely to experience wind damage than a two-story.

Better-built homes cost a bit more, but their resistance to severe weather make them a wise investment in areas prone to severe weather.